Alexander v. Gardner-Denver Company

PETITIONER: Alexander
RESPONDENT: Gardner-Denver Company
LOCATION: Central Intelligence Agency Headquarters

DOCKET NO.: 72-5847
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

CITATION: 415 US 36 (1974)
ARGUED: Nov 05, 1973
DECIDED: Feb 19, 1974

ADVOCATES:
Lawrence G. Wallace - argued the cause for the United States as amicus curiae urging reversal
Paul J. Spiegelman - for petitioner
Robert G. Good - for respondent

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Alexander v. Gardner-Denver Company

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 05, 1973 in Alexander v. Gardner-Denver Company

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - February 19, 1974 in Alexander v. Gardner-Denver Company

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you, Mr. Justice Rehnquist.

Justice Powell will announce the disposition of Alexander against Gardner-Denver Company.

Lewis F. Powell, Jr.:

This case is here on certiorari from the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

The petitioner, a black employee was discharged by the respondent company.

Petitioner claimed racial discrimination and through his union, initiated arbitration proceedings under the collective bargaining agreement.

That agreement prohibited racial discrimination.

After hearing, the arbitrator ruled that petitioner's discharge was for a cause.

The petitioner that pursued remedies under Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Following unfavorable action by EEOC, petitioner instituted this suit in the District Court.

That court granted respondent's motion for summary judgment, holding that petitioner was bound by the prior arbitral decision.

The question presented to us is whether under Title 7, one who has sought relief by arbitration pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement and who has lost, may nevertheless obtain a de novo trial for the discrimination issue in a federal district court.

We hold that he may.

That the statutory right to such a trial is not foreclosed either by waiver or by the doctrine of election of remedies, but the federal court may admit the arbitral decision in evidence and accord to it such weight as maybe appropriate under the facts and circumstances of the case.

The judgment of the Circuit Court is reversed.